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  #21  
Old 03-06-2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnles1 View Post
Given the toxic climate in Washington these days and the Administration seeking the most visible and painful ways to cut the budgets, we're lucky the NPS didn't simply say "we don't have enough budget to employ resources necessary to ensure public safety; therefore, all back country areas are now closed."
Jeff I'm dissappointed with your accessment

You seem like a resonable guy, and I tend to agree with you on many issues, but don't really think that "toxic climate in Washington" has anything to do with the backcountry fee. Furthermore the suggestion that we should be happy to swallow the fee beacause they could easily close the whole backcountry is absurd. The fee is wrong for a host of reasons that, and to most people it's not about the $4, but the many lies told and the fact that it solely goes to fund a system we didn't need in the first place. Also from a cost standpoint backcountry users account for only a fraction of park costs so why closing the backcountry would save serious money is beyond me. Now Closing Cades Cove and you might save some coin.

Don't mean to harp on you, and hopefully we can still be internet friends If you want to get a bit more informed on the issue Adam (Crockett) had been one of the people leading the fight.Also been some informing post on GoSmokies, and of course on SFW.

Think of the family of 6 that now pays more for a backtcountry site than a front country
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  #22  
Old 03-06-2013, 04:20 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Hey pmike I am with you on this. I put in my first ever FOIA request on this issue. The park said they were inundated with complaints from citizens about the backcountry so I did a Freedom of Info Act request for all the complaints related to backcountry camping they had received in the past three years and here is what I got back:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-VO...it?usp=sharing

There are 27 pages in this doc but only 15 total "complaints" over 3 years or about 5 complaints per year. Most of the complaints have nothing to do with backcountry camping. The reason it was 27 pages is most of it was several handwritten pages which look like casual trail maintainer reports from Morgan Briggs talking about water bars and horse damage and such. After I got this info the park never mentioned "numerous backcountry complaints" again and instead switched over to the mantra that the fee was going to pay for a "better reservation system" ie a fee to pay for collecting a fee.

Some further irony here Morgan Briggs happens to be against the fee (see this WBIR interview): http://www.wbir.com/news/article/180...-proposed-fees


This is a case where some local folks dug deeper and clearly found the road to build the fees was surveyed by a wandering cow.
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Last edited by Crockett; 03-06-2013 at 04:41 PM..
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  #23  
Old 03-06-2013, 10:05 PM
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The previous Park Trail map, BC-Map-july-11.pdf, has been replaced online at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/GSMNP-Map_OCT2012.pdf

To help out, I plan to contact someone at Park headquarters this week about what I see as needed changes. One being the questionable choice of backcountry campsites numbers (2, 4 & 6) for examples in the legend. As for 4, it must be gone.
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Last edited by JoeFred; 03-28-2013 at 10:06 PM.. Reason: Simplified
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  #24  
Old 03-06-2013, 11:39 PM
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Oh campsite 4 is gone forever... It was too close to blackberry farms resident senator Lamar Alexander's house and thus we can't have the unwashed masses camping here. It's part of the cession of the northwest quadrant of the park to become the private atv course for the elite blackberry farms residents and high roller guests. It's no longer for use by the general public.

Thank god sfw included this in their lawsuit.

Some of us are more equal than others...

Last edited by NDuncan; 03-06-2013 at 11:40 PM.. Reason: I failed orienteering
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  #25  
Old 03-08-2013, 01:09 AM
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Thanks for the info, NDuncan. Had I first taken time to properly research the site number being phased out, I wouldn't have been so glib in my remarks. I imagine Great Smoky Mountains Association has limited to no say on the technical aspects of maintaining the Park Trail Map. All Park Service maps and other media appear to be managed at the NPS Harpers Ferry Center. Regardless, I contacted association leadership Wednesday just to provide a heads up. I started a new thread about the changes being made to the map.
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Last edited by JoeFred; 03-09-2013 at 01:40 AM..
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  #26  
Old 03-20-2013, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
Jeff I'm dissappointed with your accessment

You seem like a resonable guy, and I tend to agree with you on many issues, but don't really think that "toxic climate in Washington" has anything to do with the backcountry fee. Furthermore the suggestion that we should be happy to swallow the fee beacause they could easily close the whole backcountry is absurd. The fee is wrong for a host of reasons that, and to most people it's not about the $4, but the many lies told and the fact that it solely goes to fund a system we didn't need in the first place. Also from a cost standpoint backcountry users account for only a fraction of park costs so why closing the backcountry would save serious money is beyond me. Now Closing Cades Cove and you might save some coin.

Don't mean to harp on you, and hopefully we can still be internet friends If you want to get a bit more informed on the issue Adam (Crockett) had been one of the people leading the fight.Also been some informing post on GoSmokies, and of course on SFW.

Think of the family of 6 that now pays more for a backtcountry site than a front country
Ducky,
I wasn't trying to say anyone should accept it. Far from what i was trying to say. I was trying to say we need to be vigilant to ensure the park stays open. Given the toxic atmosphere in Washington these days, the Administration is looking for ways to create pain so that one side can stab the other side in the back.

Look for more of these "visible" cuts like closing white house tours and closing campgrounds. It isn't about saving real money or elimination of waste, it is about politics.

Again, I was in no way advocating for the back country fee or saying anyone should be happy with it or accept it. Just stating that we should be happy the NPS didn't close the backcountry completely (and I would not be surprised to see them do just that in the future). again, not to save any real money but to create a toxic climate where one side can blame the other side for every bad thing that has happened since Eve took a bite of the fruit of the tree of knowledge to the current day.

No worries. No offence meant by me and none taken by me.

Jeff
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  #27  
Old 03-22-2013, 01:16 AM
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Rob Johnson Rob Johnson is offline
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Don, sounds like your leg got better, ROB
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  #28  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:42 AM
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3/28 Update:

I discussed the issues with the revised Trail Map with two of the GSMA staff today at Sugarlands. They were very appreciative and plan to make some changes. It was a good meeting in a number of respects.
– JF
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Last edited by JoeFred; 03-28-2013 at 10:07 PM..
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